Amnesty Fest returns with best in activist filmmaking

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      If you missed them, two of the year’s best documentaries are coming back to the big screen this weekend.

      Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (which profiles dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei) and Big Boys Gone Bananas!* (about the Dole Food Company’s attempts to censor and destroy filmmaker Fredrik Gertten) both exemplify the virtues of activist filmmaking, being equally engaging in their presentation and righteous in their anger.

      Either film is a perfect score for the 17th Annual Amnesty International Film Festival, taking place at the Cinematheque from Friday to Sunday (November 2 to 4). But there’s a lot more, some of which you’ll have little chance of seeing outside of Amnesty’s lovingly curated annual tribute to the best in human-rights documentaries—movies like Umoja: No Men Allowed, which looks at a unique women-only village in Northern Kenya, and Tahrir: The Good, The Bad and The Politician, which takes a sober overview of the Arab Spring.

      And then there’s Under Rich Earth, which should be seen by anybody with an interest in the essentially criminal behaviour of Canadian mining companies in South America, or Frank Wolf’s Gateway Pipeline polemic, On the Line, which should be seen by anyone who lives here, now.

      Check back here tomorrow for Martin Dunphy’s review of Umoja: No Men Allowed.

      The 17th Annual Amnesty International Film Festival takes place at the Cinematheque, from Friday to Sunday (November 2 to 4)